As we drove in the heat through the dusty roads of Dabha, little did we know, that our destination is going to be a beautiful respite from all the heat and dust. Walking in through the quirky little gates of the Alag Angle art studio, we were pleasantly surprised by the amount of creativity that filled this place.
At the entrance, we were greeted by Tanul Vikamshi, the proud founder of Alag Angle. “Studio bagun ya, mag aapan bolu aaramat,” he says with a warm smile.
Parvinder Singh, a musician who conducts workshops there, showed us around. The entire premises is filled with things small and big, all made by the in-house artists, even the house where Tanul stays with his family, is made and designed by the in-house artists. The minimalistic and creative house, as well as the studio, speaks volumes about the life Tanul and his family lead.
“I can’t exactly explain how I got into art on a professional level. I have grown up surrounded by art. My father is a sculptor and I have grown up walking and playing around huge 15-20 feet statues he made. Usually, as children, we play with dolls, but among these giant statues, I was like a little doll. Art is something that I have acquired an assimilated watching and learning from my father. It was almost automatic,” explains Tanul.
Sometimes, all you need to make a difference is a unique perspective, and this unique perspective is visible in all the out of the box creations and ideas at Alag Angle. This unique and out of the box perspective is something Tanul has grown up with.
“After my 10th, I went to the JJ School of Arts to learn sculpture. There, every week, different artists came to interact with us. One such week, an artist shared a funny story with us. He said that once he was visiting a friend of his, where he saw a little boy playing with white stones, he seemed to be making a line with those stones. When he asked the little boy, what he was doing, he said he was making a line of ants. Turns out that little boy was me,” says Tanul with a laugh.
What hides behind that funny memory is a little boy who had a hatke way of looking at things.
It is from this unusual worldview that Alag Angle was born.
“When we are students, we always have a lot of ‘what ifs’ in our mind. What if I could learn things in a particular way, what if my teachers taught a little differently, what if learning could be fun. It was from these ‘what ifs’ that Alag Angle was born. We wanted to share our knowledge and passion for art with people in an unconventional way. We wanted students to have the creative liberty that we couldn’t have. After my Masters, we had to make a 30 feet tall sculpture of Dnyaneshwar Maharaj. For a sculpture this big, we needed manpower, and that is when we realised that despite being in the center of India, Nagpur did not have any good institute where sculpting was taught. With this thought in mind, we started an institute called CISFA, affiliated to the Kavikulguru Kalidas University. But after looking after its management for almost 3 years, I realised that big institutes can’t really bring about a sudden change. Change has to be imbibed since childhood, with baby steps. With Alag Angle, we started taking those baby steps,” says Tanul with a sense of satisfaction.
“Our main idea was to have an open art studio, where anyone can come freely and explore himself. It was with this little thought of giving something back to the community, that my brother Lalit, his wife Mili and I started Alag Angle,” he adds.
Ask him what art means to him and he says, “For me, art is exploring and discovering oneself. It is through my art that I found myself and my purpose in life. Through my art, I want people to start their journey of self-discovery. Because, ultimately, art is simple."